Posted at 12:05 p.m., Tuesday, June 1, 2004
Kilauea lava flow steams into ocean
|Lava enters the ocean along the 1 1/2-year-old Wilipea lava delta. The last time lava from Kilauea oozed into the sea was in July 2003. The Big Island volcano erupted on Jan. 3, 1983.
U.S. Geologic Survey
By Mike Gordon
Advertiser Staff Writer
Clouds of steam rose over boiling water as the glowing orange lava entered the ocean along a ledge nearly 200 yards wide. The Hawaiian Volcano Observatory said some of the lava glided gently down slopes and into the surf while some flows plunged over 30-foot-tall cliffs.
The flow, which has been dubbed the banana flow because of an unusual patch of banana plants upslope, reached the ocean sometime yesterday, according to the observatory.
The last time lava reached the sea here was in July 2003.
Lava breakouts have been flowing into the ocean from the east side of the delta and because there are so many of them, the site is impressive. Several cascades of lava continue to tumble down an old cliff and onto the delta.
The Kilauea eruption began Jan. 3, 1983, and lava flows since then have created more than 500 acres of land along the coast.
Reach Mike Gordon at firstname.lastname@example.org or 525-8012.